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Mystery Science Theater 3000: SQUIRM  Season 10, Ep 12

"This was the night of the CRAWLING TERROR!" I have one more useful science factoid to teach you: if you run an electrical current through an earthworm, it'll become an aggressive monster and crave human flesh! But only while the current is running. This movie helpfully shows us the lethal consequences of downed power lines, which result in the depopulation of a small town. But it's a Georgia town, so, no worries. With the short A Case of Spring Fever: A film that warns us, for the sake of all mankind, to guard our tongues! Say no careless words in wishing for the absence of any petty thing that annoys you, for there may be an omnipotent spirit listening, and waiting, willing, even eager, to remove all those things from the universe just to spite you personally. To think of all the things our world has lost, all because some schmuck decided to say aloud he was annoyed with, say, immortality this week. One more film about unpleasant people in the South. Notable for containing the phrase, "You gonna be da worm face now!" The episode contains MST3K's last short, and it's one of the best. Episode 1012 is available on YouTube. Premiered August 1, 1999. One episode left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 30, 2018 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: IT LIVES BY NIGHT  Season 10, Ep 10

a.k.a. The Bat People. "No matter how hard you pray or how loud you scream there is no escape... no escape... no escape... no escape..." A guy on a research honeymoon gets bitten by a bat and starts transforming into some kind of... bat... person as a result, sure that happens. Look out for the special surprise ending where we find out bat-person-osis is also an STD. Pearl has fun mutating the SOL crew, and Tom Servo has way too big of a mustache. An okay episode. Episode 1010 is available on YouTube. Premiered July 18, 1999. Three episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 18, 2018 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z  Season 10, Ep 5

a.k.a. Zaat. "Is The Monster Man...Fish...Or Devil?" "It Would Take An Atom Bomb To Wipe Out The Walking Catfish!" "WARNING! Positively no one admitted during last 15 minutes!" Sargassum! After a short, nonsensical narration of an aquarium, a scientist charts on his gigantic circular day-planner his revenge on the scientific establishment, and the world that shunned his ideas, by turning himself into a monster that he calls (but isn't) a fish, then sets about making himself a fishy mate, while very southern authorities try to stop him. We've been through some adventures, haven't we? Well here's one more, the last of what I'd call the extreme pain category of episodes. Great host segments in this one! This episode is available to watch on YouTube. Premiered June 27, 1998. Eight episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 14, 2018 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: FUTURE WAR  Season 10, Ep 4

"It came from the future to hunt humans." A human taken from the past to be a slave in the future escapes to the present. He's chased by a familiar-looking guy with a really big chin and his dinosaur trackers. Nicely inconspicuous, future guy! He's helped by a street-wise nun and her street gang friends. Thank you for not killing me. In the words of Crow, "You know, I could point out it's not the future and there isn't a war, but you know me. I don't like to complain." This is a particularly laughable movie, although not one of the show's more famous episodes. Episode 1004 is available on YouTube. Premiered April 25, 1999. Nine episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 7, 2018 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS  Season 10, Ep 3

"In a world where magic truly exists, anything can happen." What if... someone made a movie like The Princess Bride, except instead of Peter Falk he could only get Ernest Borgnine, and instead of a charming and witty tale he had two mediocre made-for-TV fantasy-horror movies, and the kid instead of going to sleep with dreams of high adventure and romance was instead left with nightmares of demonic familiars and cursed deadly toy monkeys? In a world where schlock truly exists anything can happen. I love this one, it's all so bizarre and inexplicable. It's easy to make fun of Ernest Borgnine (hell, I do it too) but he had a long career and seemed like a good guy. In subplot land Pearl performs an experiment on Mike and co. for the Mad Science accreditation board. Taste the rainbow of fruit pain! Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders is available on YouTube. Premiered September 12, 1999. By the way: this was the last new episode of MST3K to appear on the Sci-Fi channel, actually showing after the series conclusion. Ten episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 28, 2018 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS  Season 10, Ep 2

"VIBRANT... UNPREDICTABLE... She hungered for fame... the men in her life offered love, danger, excitement!" "She murdered for fame, but the price tag was too much!" Michele is a dancer with big dreams: to work as a go-go girl in a seedy restaurant called EAT. Her meteroic rise is troubled by the conflicting attractions of EAT's janitor (name of "Critter"), and Buz, EAT's drug dealer. Will she be able to keep her pretty pretty mind? Will you? There are only four Sci-Fi Channel era episodes that don't have to do with sci-fi, fantasy or horror, and this is the first. Although the horror could come from all the slime dripping off the film, which is off-putting to sane people. This episode kicks off the "Mad Scientist accreditation" subplot in Castle Forrester, which would last to the end of the show. Episode 1002 can be found on YouTube. Premiered June 27, 1998. 11 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 21, 2018 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SOULTAKER  Season 10, Ep 1

"There is no stairway to heaven." Because it turns out to be an elevator. Some dumb teens cross the Maximum Allowable Dumb line and are punished via a car crash that kills them. But wait, maybe they aren't dead? Because it turns out the Grim Reaper (Joe Estevez) is incompetent and can't leave personal issues at home. His boss (Robert Z'dar) is so going to write him up. This is a great episode, not just because the movie is goofy and the riffing excellent. This is the episode where "TVs" Frank Conniff and show creator and first host Joel Hodgson come back to visit! This is the first episode of the 10th season of MST3K, the final classic season of the show. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered June 27, 1998. 12 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 14, 2018 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS  Season 9, Ep 13

"In an age of swords and sorcery, one young hero holds the key to infinite wisdom--and ultimate power." Not any sorcery, actually. Somewhere in the medieval nation of Europe, a young boy is sold as a slave but bought/rescued by "Baydool," who works for the "Delta Knights," against the villainous "Vultare," who works for "The Mannerjay." They're trying to find the lost treasure of Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci is with them--if you try to make sense of when or where this film happened you'll go crazy. Roll for initiative! This is an underrated episode I think. The movie's got a crazy premise, the settings seem like they came from a LARP, and it just opens itself to riffing, which is nice after a couple of numbing episodes. Host segments are also great, with the "Loaner AMC Crow," another of Servo's chorus performances, and Pearl doing the riffing for the first quarter of the episode. This is the end of Season Nine of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Assembled people and robots, we have entered the home stretch. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 26, 1998. 13 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 7, 2018 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEVIL FISH  Season 9, Ep 11

"Sink your teeth into pure terror." "Wave goodbye..." Good luck making sense of this horribly-edited movie. A fish (with tentacles somehow) is terrorizing some folk, was made by a villain, and others are trying to stop them. There's some sex in there I think too. Pearl rents the castle out as a cruise ship (what) and Mike twice incurs the wrath of the Space Dolphin empire (what). In a host segment, Crow muses about combining a shark with an octopus, making him technically the ultimate origin of the movie Sharktopus. Thanks a heap, 'bot. Promo The episode itself doesn't appear to be on YouTube. Premiered August 15, 1998. 15 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 25, 2018 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE FINAL SACRIFICE  Season 9, Ep 10

"A lost city... A cult of unholy warriors... And a boy's quest for the secret of his father's death." Teenaged orphan Troy is on a quest across Canada to find out what happened to his father. In a pair of improbable coincidences, he meets a reformed, former member of the cult responsible for his death and his old partner, before finally confronting its leader. That reformed cult member goes by the name of Zap Rowsdower.... Fans generally regard this as one of the best of the Sci-Fi Channel era episodes. Both the riffing and the host segments are first-rate. This episode gives us the Canada Song and a Satellite-wide outbreak of Hockey Hair. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 25, 1998. 16 episodes left. Extra: The Rowsdower Song, from a post I made some time back. Have some more Rowsdowers. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 17, 2018 - 16 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GORGO  Season 9, Ep 9

LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! A gigantic sea lizard emerges from the ocean off the British coast and wrecks stuff, but is captured. Then its mother shows up. Oops! Mormo could not be reached by press time. Note that the short intro blurbs often seen in these writeups are taken from advertising for the movie. I don't myself claim you've never seen something like this obvious British Godzilla clone before. Leonard Maltin (a good sport) shows up in a couple of host segments! This episode is not available on YouTube. Premiered July 18, 1998. 17 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 11, 2018 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE TOUCH OF SATAN  Season 9, Ep 8

"'The Touch of Satan' makes 'Rosemary's Baby' look like a Sunday school picnic!" - LA Free Press A guy falls in love with a weird gal who enchants him by telling him, of a lake, "This is where the fish lives!" Unfortuately, it turns out she's an actual enchantress, that is to say a witch, in turn to say Of The Devil, aka Gorgo and Mormo, and her gramma's both her sister and a murderer, or, as one character terms them, "fromakidal maniacs." Yet another movie not to expect a happy ending from. This is the episode where "Deadly" Beez McKeever babysits Observer (who she calls "Brian") and Bobo (who she thinks is a dog), in some particularly beloved host segments. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 11, 1998. 18 episodes left. Zaa! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 2, 2018 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HOBGOBLINS  Season 9, Ep 7

Warning: HOBGOBLINS - May Cause Blindness and Death Boy, that sure is a bad movie, won't you? It sure is, you know! An old guy spends his whole life working as a security guard for an old film studio just to prevent other security guards from unleashing the evil plush toys that live in one of its vaults. He is terrible at this. The "Hobgoblins" get loose, and it's up to a straight-laced new recruit and his upsettingly horny friends to save the world, and themselves, from their hallucinatory, fantasy-granting powers. Of all the movie types we've seen on our tour through the Mystery Science Theater, among them gray 50s sci-fi, brutal biker movies, an Orwellian children's film, post-apocalyptic warrior fightan, barely-clad pepla and vibrant Soviet fantasy, comes a new category: wannabe sex farce/horror. The result is unquestionably another one of the worst movies MST ever did, and yet pretty recent for that. What can you do with those Hobgoblins? Here comes one now! Watch out, you little doodad! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered June 27, 1998. 19 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 21, 2017 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SPACE CHILDREN  Season 9, Ep 6

Kids serve the telepathic bidding of a Blob from Space to sabotage military weapons. The twist: the Blob is a good guy! With short Century 21 Calling: At the Seattle World's Fair, everyone is excited about PHONES. You'll be able to record frequently-called numbers onto little plastic cards! An uncommonly ridiculous movie and short combo. Warning: contains Uncle Fester in shorts! This is another episode that's not on DVD, and probably never will be. Vimeo (1h32m) Premiered June 13, 1998. 20 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 13, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEADLY BEES  Season 9, Ep 5

"hives of horror! Excited by the smell of fear they inflict their fatal stings!" A British singer collapses on television and is sent to the countryside to recuperate. I guess she shouldn't have used AirB&B. Also apparently the British take forever to investigate anything. This episode is infamously unavailable commercially by any means, not YouTube, DVD, Video on Demand or streaming; it's one of those final few episodes where the copyright owners seem almost affronted at the temerity of that Midwest puppet show at making fun of their movie and have refused to license it for release. In subplot news, the other Observers are back and try to take Brain Guy away. Pearl and Bobo's attempts at getting him to stay is as close to touching as this deeply ridiculous show ever gets. Premiered May 9, 1998. 21 episodes left. (guy with bowler hat appears mysteriously, nods, and walks off into distance) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WEREWOLF  Season 9, Ep 4

aka Arizona Werewolf. "Rest in... beast." Did you know you can contract werewolfism through improper handling of teeth? Yuri discovers this and infects Paul with Involuntary Furry Syndrome. He did this to make money exhibiting Paul-as-wolf, since as we all know sideshow exhibitions are so very lucrative. Paul escapes this fate through the application of a timely mauling and hooks up with his GF, who becomes a werewolf too. Now the two of them spend their nights terrorizing the townfolk; what a romantic ending! It's another fan favorite episode! When this episode was made, the movie was only three years old! This is the episode with the brilliant "Tusk!" bit over the movie's credits music. Satellite News subsite Ward E cataloged all the references, and this YouTube video overlays the MST versions with the originals (2m). YouTube (1h32m). Premiered April 18, 1998. 22 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 29, 2017 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PUMAMAN  Season 9, Ep 3

AKA "L'uoma Puma." Donald Pleasence has stolen a mind-control mask, and it's up to The Pumaman to stop him! But we don't know who that is yet! So faithful priest Vadinho throws people out of windows until he finds the one guy who survives it: must be him. Watch him soar through the air with the opposite of grace! We are all surely doomed. This is a beloved episode, the riffing is terrific throughout. The great improbability that our hero could be an Anything Man makes the whole thing ridiculous on its face, but it keeps on stretching the premise further and further. In Castle Forrester, Pearl plans a ball but Brain Guy's party to watch the new episode of Sliders is more popular. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered April 4, 1998. 23 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 16, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PROJECTED MAN  Season 9, Ep 1

"Born a man... turned into a living laser beam by science's most gruesome experiment!" "A Billion Volts of Death in Every Finger!" Another dang fool scientist is inventing a teleporter, and again he's impatient for results so he tests it on himself and becomes a monster. Isn't it weird when a movie's hubristic Tampering In God's Domain amounts to moving somewhere? Hey here's a thought, why not just walk a few steps across the room and maybe not turn into a deformed horror? Lembeck is staying! The movie's okay but the thing about this episode is that the "endless chase" subplot is finally over, although it takes a season for the opening theme to catch up with this fact. Pearl and henchies finally arrive at and settle into ancestral family home Castle Forrester, the show's site until the end of the classic era. Pearl discovers a family history in which she finds out her family has been forcing bad art on hapless subjects for ages. In this, we find out that the female half of her family basically have the same first-naming conventions as the Crystal Gems, which could make for some really odd fanfiction if anyone wants to write it. (Kinga breaks that trend though.) YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 25 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 2, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK  Season 8, Ep 22

"Caught in a future world, his only escape is back in time." Raul Julia is Aram Fingal, who lives in a future dystopia and gets in trouble by scrolling up Casablanca at his data entry job. So he's doppled into a baboon--thankfully, not an anteater--but an impish schoolkid loses his body, so he's then-doppled into the world-running computer for safe keeping. He pretends to be Rick from Casablanca, meets his dead mom of whom he asks, "My nuts?" and runs afoul of both computech Apollonia Jones and the CEO of Novicorp. Look, I've seen the movie several times and I'm just as lost as you are. This has gotta be the most nonsensical movie in MST3K's rich history of nonsense. Gloriously silly and yet seems not to even notice. Made for public television, it's another strong contender for Worst Movie They Riffed. It's filled with heaping helpings of made-up future jargon like a kind of sad Nadsat. Get ready everyone, it's Fingal time! In the host segments, Pearl decides to run her own pledge drive and rake in the dollars. This is the end of season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 26 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 26, 2017 - 33 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME CHASERS  Season 8, Ep 21

aka Tangents. "His Mission is to Save the Future. But Time Waits For No Man...." A guy invents a time machine in his airplane, but a huge corporation plans on misusing it. Yeah, it's kind of like if Michael Moore made Back To The Future. Wow, evil corporations, huh? You can always turn to them when you need a good villain. I am not pointing this out to subvert it; they are a power for evil in our world, a blight upon the land. Anyway, this is a pretty darn decent episode. Thankfully all that Roman Times stuff is over with, and for the last couple of episodes of Season 8 the show was free to just drift out in space (well, that and a public television station, we'll get into that next week). Mike and Pearl have a nice little talk in the Widowmaker! It's nice to see neighbors get along, even when one of them is a mad scientist and the other is her hapless movie-watching victim. Also, in the movie segments, a couple of segments have the big brother of Mike (the character), Eddie, in the theater, played by Mike (the actor), who is rather less congenial than Mike (the character). Er, you understood that, right? Observer gets in a visual riff during the credits! And at the end there's a spare Crow hanging out in Minnesota who is never mentioned again. Next week is the last episode of Season 8. Episode 821 TIME CHASERS does not appear to be on YouTube. Premiered November 22, 1997. 27 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 18, 2017 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY  Season 8, Ep 20

aka "Mutiny in Space" "There Is Nowhere to Hide from the Enemy Within!" On a colony ship sailing through the void of space, very very white people fight off a rebellion of equally-white mutineers. Titles provided by an Apple ][. This movie falls right in that zone of inept yet not abysmal, and the riffing is great. Not only do I think it's a terrific introductory episode, so does the A.V. Club. This is the episode where they keep making up names for the beefy guy ("David Ryder"). Slab Bulkhead! Fridge Largemeat! Punt Speedchunk! Here's a list of them! Here's a supercut! In subplot news, it's finally the last of the Roman Times episodes, preparing for the premise that would carry the series to the end of its original run. YouTube (warning: ad in annotations) Premiered November 7, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 12, 2017 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.  Season 8, Ep 15

"A blast of blood-curdling terror from outer space!" "They used the world's deadliest weapons against this super-secret agent! Women! Women! Women!" A spy tries to stop the use of a flesh-decaying substance from being used for evil by commies. Generally a good episode I think, in the middle of a streak of good episodes. This is the one where Mike is put on cosmic trial for blowing up those planets. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered August 2, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 7, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RIDING WITH DEATH  Season 8, Ep 14

"An Unforgettable Excursion Into Adventure." Two stories with little in common except that they deal with the adventures of a secret agent guy who can become invisible, stitched together from the 70s show Gemini Man. Why a guy who can become invisible is called Gemini Man escapes me. Another popular episode among fan reviewers, the most amazing thing about it is that TV's Frank wasn't on hand to select it. I like to think his spirit (having temporarily escaped his body) hovers over the episode. Lots of riffs on the actors (especially lead Ben Murphy) and their other roles. Sketches are weird but fun, including Mike as a teppanyaki chef and Crow as Turkey Volume Guessing Man. Promos - YouTube (1h30m) Premiered July 19, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 31, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: JACK FROST  Season 8, Ep 13

AKA "Morozko," or (stupidly) "Frosty." "All the magic of the winter-time wonder-maker to fascinate young and old!" A headstrong Russian guy gets into trouble with a mushroom sprite and his head's turned into that of a bear. Meanwhile a girl has parent issues and is abandoned in the woods. Can Father Frost get these two knuckleheads together? A throwback to the Russian movies of the Comedy Central era, it's another fairly good folktale adaptation made riffing fodder mostly through no fault of its own, the comedy coming from a dreamlike atmosphere, cultural barriers, and the fact that most folktales are pretty dang weird anyway. In the channel-mandated subplot, Pearl's still on her way back from dropping off the space children, leaving Brain Guy and Bobo to bond on Camping Planet. The word is that this movie is shown in some countries on TV around Christmastime, which may explain why it isn't on YouTube in entirety, although there is a 38-minute Best Of reel. If you can find it, it's a classic episode. Promo. Premiered July 12, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 24, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING & BECAME MIXEDUP ZOMBIES  Season 8, Ep 12

(Note: title slightly condensed to fit in the form) "MONSTERS COME REAL! CRASH OUT OF SCREEN! INVADE AUDIENCE! ABDUCT GIRLS FROM THEIR SEATS! Not 3-D. Don't Miss It!" "SEE: The world's first monster musical!" Why do supposedly powerful magicians and sorceresses work at carnivals? Estrella tells fortunes, hypnotises people to make them kill her enemies, and keeps a small heard of mixed-up zombies, overseen by her employee Ortega. In between scenes, there are pointless musical numbers. This one's a full 10/10 for pain folks, beware! Some consider it to be one of the worst movies ever made, and it is the first such MST film of the Sci-Fi Channel era. It is extremely weird at the very least. In the subplot, Pearl takes the space children from last week to return them to their parents, and Observer has a very bad experience with Bobo. Promo - YouTube, Official, with Annotations! (1h32m) Premiered June 14, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 16, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION  Season 8, Ep 10

"Creeping!... Clawing!... Crushing!" Spider! He is our hero! Well it's not the hero of a small town in Wisconson, as it goes around eating residents, or it would be if he were actually a spider and not a poor special effect. Rioting and chaos are left in its wake. Guys, maybe it's friendly, and is trying to communicate by killing us? Okay maybe not. The movie this week is, once again, tough going. It's brought to us by MST All-Star Bill Rebane, who made... (wait for it)... MONSTER A-GO-GO. Mwa-ha-ha-ha! A film of the genre of people getting devoured by an otherworldly menace, in which way it is eventually poisoned by their accumulated awfulness. In Subplot Land, Pearl's group and the SOL are bothered by pod people. MRxL MRxL MRxL! GO PACKERS WHOOO YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered May 5, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 2, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AT THE EARTH'S CORE  Season 11, Ep 14

"Take the Most Terrifying Journey of Your Life!" "4,000 miles to the center of the earth is a world within our world." We've already been to the Center of the Earth with Kathy Ireland in a Jules Verne adaptation, let's now make the trip with Edgar Rice Burroughs why not. This one's got less vaguely Austrialian dystopia and more dinosaurs and cavepeeps. The day of Kinga's ordained wedding (by Kinga) to Jonah for ratings has arrived and Max isn't too happy about it. We also visit with Pearl and company again, meet the Head Observer, through whom we learn you can hire Observers out to fill out crowds, which is pretty enterprising of the omniscient brainguys. And we meet Jonah's robot Growther and a "Reptilicus Metallicus." Also, cliffhanger ending! Creepy outro! Episode 1114, the final episode of Season 11, is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 12, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CARNIVAL MAGIC  Season 11, Ep 12

"Elvin Feltner Presents..." A two-bit magician at a one-bit carnival turns out to have the one thing that could make his act quasi-bearable, a sorta-talking chimpanzee. If animals could talk what would they say? According to this movie, absolutely nothing of interest. Beware guys, this movie is the closest we come in Season 11 to the abysmal category, the realm of Manos, Hobgoblins and Monster A-Go-Go. The carnival itself puts out some serious Pirates World vibes. In subplot news, Kinga reveals her diabolical plan to increase her ratings by marrying Jonah. Oh, and there's a guest appearance by someone you may have heard of: Mark Hamill. Episode 1112 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 28, 2017 - 34 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II  Season 11, Ep 11

"Across the Sea of Dreams... behind the Curtain of Time... lies the land of ultimate fantasy." I bet you weren't looking forward to another visit to the world of last week's movie. Good news, other than the name and executive producer Roger Corman, this movie has nothing to do with the first one! A shepherd who's also a wizard tries to save the world from bad wizards blah blah Tolkien Eddings Brooks. A lot of people think Part 1 was a highlight of the season, but many also think this is a lowlight, so beware guys. A subplot begins in this episode, with Kinga deciding to marry Jonah. And we have another visit from Pearl! Episode 1111 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 21, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I  Season 11, Ep 10

"On The Far Edge Of Fantasy The Ultimate Conflict Is Drawing Near" Young wizard apprentice Simon is aided by an ambulatory hairball and Rowsdower the Conquerer in a bid to overthrow the evil wizard Sherpa. What, it's Sherka? Whatever. Lots of people have proclaimed this the best episode of Season 11, so get ready for some massive goofiness folks. In host segment news, a plot line develops that takes us to the end of the season. Yeah yeah, just don't let it get in the way of the riffing guys! Episode 1110 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 14, 2017 - 13 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP  Season 11, Ep 9

A monster movie from South Korea, in which a petroleum-eating monster awakened from the Middle East attacks Seoul. Whatever geopolitical metaphor is intended by this is obscured by the fact that, oh Gamera, we have another little kid protagonist. Yongary's death scene is rather protracted. Ah, another little kid monster movie! And not a Kenny kid either, this is a full-on obnoxious lil brat along the lines of Time Of The Apes' Johnny, or that kid from Godzilla Vs. Megalon. When we meet this kid, he's aiming his superscience itch ray at relatives driving by in their car! There's a lot of other crazy on display here too. Episode 1109 is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 7, 2017 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LOVES OF HERCULES  Season 11, Ep 8

aka Hercules Vs. The Hydra, Gli Amori de Ercole. Hercules' wife is murdered, but it's okay, he finds a new love days later. Then an Amazon queen decides to pursue him as well. It's a collision course with wackiness! Or maybe more murder! Given the number of girlfriends and wives Herc has had throughout these interminable movies, why would any woman stick around with him? It's a death sentence! We're now halfway into Season 11, the Kickstarter-funded revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Pepla (singular peplum) provide for some of the most beloved classic episodes of MST (such as 408 HERCULES UNCHAINED and 410 HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN), but there are also some relatively boring ones. Fan reaction to this episode, at least, seems divided. Episode 1108 can be viewed on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2017 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT  Season 11, Ep 7

"The Adventure You Will Never Forget!" A cramped German U-Boat (which nonethless houses a spacious captain's cabin and dining table!) in WWI sinks a passenger ship but the survivors make it aboard and take it over, then not. But the crewmen and survivors form a truce for survival when they find a mysterious land where live primitive men, dinosaurs, and volcanoes. An okay episode overall, but it does have the "Moon 14 Mesozoic Ranch Dinosaur BBQ" sketch, and one where Crow frets about turning into a human. Episode 1107 can be viewed on Netflix. Unriffed, the movie is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 24, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ESCAPE 2000  Season 7, Ep 5

AKA Escape From The Bronx, The Bronx Warriors 2. The people living in a ludicrously named hellscape called the "Bronx" (yeah, right), beloved by its remaining residents because at least its our hellscape, tries to keep out an evil, murderous construction company. Wikipedia notes that this is actually a sequel! I bet that leaves you fully sprinting to Wikipedia to discover Trash's backstory. The next show is the final Comedy Central episode. YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered March 2, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 17, 2017 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH  Season 11, Ep 6

"From a vast and distant galaxy... a Space Adventure for all Time!" Clothes-adverse, redundantly-named smuggler Stella Star, her Magic Space Friend Akton, and Robo-Yosemite Sam are called by Emperor Plummer to his grand Starship Kitbash, to entrust them with the search for both a huge space weapon and his lost young Prince Hasselhoff, from among the haunted theme worlds of the colored-bulb cosmos. Some people really like this movie (Better than Star Wars?) but you can't deny it's remarkably ridiculous, even by this show's standards. It's even had its own MeFi post! Also unusual for MST3K is an exceptionally high-powered cameo, by Joel's friend Jerry Seinfeld, as investor Freak Masterstroke. And of considerable interest to MSTies is the fact that former Brains Bill Corbett, Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin helped write this one! Episode 1106 is available for viewing on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 17, 2017 - 25 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN  Season 7, Ep 4

"The First New Horror Creature... Come Prepared!" An irradiated astronaut returns to Earth and, horribly deformed, starts killing people. 'I Can't Believe It's Not Monster A-Go-Go!' Satellite News informs us that the host segments in this one, depicting Dr. F and Pearl making a film out of Crow's screenplay Earth Vs. Soup, were them getting even with Hollywood types who were the source of much pain during the making of MST: The Movie, and that their performances call back to specific people they met. Fan consensus is this is a very good episode, but I'm not a fan of gore myself so I've not seen it much. Everyone take note: after this, there are only two Comedy Central episodes left, and thus only two episodes remaining with Trace Beaulieu. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered February 24, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 11, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN  Season 11, Ep 5

We're in the Old West! The owner of Rancho Bonito, Jimmy, is losing cattle to the quicksand bog. The local claim an ancient legendary beast is behind the losses, but Jimmy suspects foul play on the part of evil rancher and black marketer Enrique, whose thugs have been bothering Jimmy for a while. Helping him is his partner Felipe, and recovering alcoholic and Mexican stereotype and his son Pancho and Panchito. Matters are pretty tense between Jimmy and Enrique, and it doesn't help when Enrique's girl Sarita takes a liking to Jimmy either, so the two have a dust-up in town. Jimmy decides to leave town in order to protect Sarita. We're two acts down and nearly two-thirds through the movie. We're right on schedule for a traditional third act cowboy movie showdown, right? AND THEN THE CLAYMATION DINOSAUR ATTACKS.... It is no joke, that is exactly what happens in the movie. It's like they really wanted to make a Western, but could only get funding for a monster movie. It is the most stunning, least-telegraphed sudden left turn I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm including Monster A-Go-Go's ending in this. There is a particularly bizarre host segment in this episode where the bots nearly make not just Jonah but even the Mads hysterical with their antics. Episode 1105 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 10, 2017 - 28 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AVALANCHE  Season 11, Ep 4

"A winter wonderland becomes a nightmare of destruction!" A bunch of characters at a resort built by Rock Hudson's character fall victim to his hubris when his construction practices contribute to a disaster. Note that Hudson's character comes through the movie unharmed, because who cares about justice. Be on the lookout for a song from Neil Patrick Harris, singing with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, and a list of made-up bad animal/disaster movie titles along the lines of Sharknado. Episode 1104 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 4, 2017 - 27 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL  Season 7, Ep 3

"The Most Action-Packed Deathstalker Yet!" A smug sword guy roams a standard fantasy realm trying to overthrow an evil wizard or something. General consensus is this is a terrific episode. The movie is deeply cheesy and bad, and yet the others in its series are just as bad but also contain tons more nudity, so count yer blessings! Plus great riffing, classic movie lines like "Potatoes are what we eat!", and a bunch of Lord of the Rings references before they were cool. Host segments take on Renaissance festivals and romance novels. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 17, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 3, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRUTE MAN  Season 7, Ep 2

"Towering NEW Terror! No woman safe from his crushing arms..." A guy with acromegaly is kiling people, but when he takes refuge from the police in a blind girl's house he finds himself moved to help her. He goes and steals to pay for an operation that could cure her, but also kills people because I guess old habits die hard. The police punch his ticket, but for some reason she gets the operation anyway. With short The Chicken of Tomorrow: The hazy future promises advances in the raising of chickens. Science marches on! Poor Rondo Hatton died shortly after this movie was made, from the very acromegaly that established him as "The Creeper." Although the short is great, this is one of the worse episodes of Season Seven unfortunately. Host segments are interesting though, with Pearl's date having to face off with a surprisingly protective Dr. Forrester. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 10, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 26, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE TIME TRAVELERS  Season 11, Ep 3

"Step through 'The Time Portal' beyond the crack in Space and Time where the fantastic world of the Future will freeze your blood with its weird horrors!" Three smart scientists and a goofball travel forward in time and get stranded there, where a cadre of Eloi future scientists desperately ready a rocket to space to take them from a devistated Earth peopled with Morlocks murderous mutants. But then things go wrong.... This is a movie where the main force driving the plot is a Gilligan, a clueless klutz who, by walking through the time portal and forcing the others to follow to rescue him, messes it up for everyone. Way to go Danny. And he gets rewarded for his thoughtless act with multicolor time nookie! It's a pretty good episode. Episode 1103 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 24, 2017 - 32 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST  Season 7, Ep 1

"No girl was safe as long as this HEAD HUNTING THING roamed the land!" An astronaut dies on reentry. Aliens are emerging from his skin, including one really big one that roams the countryside, stopping watches. Everyone wants to kill it except the astronaut, who is now not dead and full of shrimp. With short Once Upon a Honeymoon: More celestial interfering with mortal affairs, this time with an angel helping a composer write a jingle so he and his wife can go on their honeymoon. Roger Corman again, this is his next-to-last featured movie. Daddy-O informs us that the exactly same costume and location were used in 315 TEENAGE CAVEMAN. This is a weird episode because there are two sets of host segments. The first showing was on Turkey Day 1995 and an alternate storyline was written involving Thanksgiving dinner with many of the show's Comedy Central movie cameo characters, making this a nice retrospective on the CC years. Because this is the first episode of the infamous Season Seven, only six episodes long and the end of the show's run on that channel. 701 701T (1h32m) Turkey Day '95 extra bits & alternate host segments Premiered: 701T on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995; 701 on February 3, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 19, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: REPTILICUS  Season 11, Ep 1

"INVINCIBLE... INDESTRUCTABLE! What was this awesome BEAST born fifty million years out of time?" Miners find some leathery tissue deep in a mine which grows into a monster and attacks Copenhagen, not a city built to withstand monster attack, with deadly cartoon slime. Also, a goofy handyman in overalls sticks his hand in an electric eel tank apparently just so he could make faces to the camera. A fine example of cinema! MST3K is back! With it comes new mads (Kinga and Max), a new host (Jonah Ray), higher production values, fancy interstitials, a skeleton band, a remix of Mighty Science Theater and the Wild Rebels cereal song at the end, and a long listing of Kickstarter backers at the end which doesn't even get out of the As in this episode. Episode 1101 is on Netflix. Premiered TODAY, April 14th, 2017. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 14, 2017 - 108 comments

Movie: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

[MST3K: The Movie] "Every Year Hollywood Makes Hundreds of Movies. This Is One of Them!" A mad scientist performs an experiment on a man he has trapped in a low-budget space station: he makes him watch the movie This Island Earth, with the hopes of using it as a tool to conquer the world. The man and two robot friends defend their sanity by making fun of the movie, for their (and presumably our) amusement. [This Island Earth] "The Supreme Excitement of Our Time!" Handsome bold Guy Scientist and smart-and-sexy Lady Scientist are abducted into OUTER SPAAACE by Exeter, an alien with a BIG FOREHEAAAD, to help in their doomed war. MST3K the Movie came between Season Six and Season Seven of the show. It is unique for the show in many ways: it was shown in theaters, it is much shorter than an episode of the show (it's actually shorter than an unedited version of the movie they riff!), there's only two host segments, and there's only one Mad, Dr. Forrester, what with TV's Frank having left in 624. It's a pretty good entry point for the show in general, which might be useful considering what's happening in three days.... MST3K: The Movie is not available on YouTube. Premiered April 18th, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 12, 2017 - 19 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN  Season 6, Ep 23

"A NATION AT HIS MERCY!" "INVISIBLE and DEADLY" Ahem! An escaped convict teams up with a mad scientist and gets turned invisibabble, but then have a disagreement as to how he should use his invisibabibility. With short The Days of Our Years: A minister tells us about his parishiners, who have to a man all been maimed, blinded or killed by machines, because God is just and holy. The poster for this movie, besides comparing the antagonist to a fart, also warned that the invisible man himself had vowed to make a personal appearance in every theater showing the film. Sigh. There is a particularly hilarious pre-movie host segment here, where Dr. F and Frank, as "Auntie McFrank," ask Mike and the bots to provide "local color" for their bed and breakfast. "Y'all got any matches for Mikey?" Jonah Ray is going to have a hard time living up this. We've also got a great short, the second of the two railroad-sponsored industrials, this one devoted to telling us about all the ways terrible, terrible machinery wages war against its creators. By the way, this is "TV's" Frank Conniff's penultimate show as Dr. F's assistant. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered March 18, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 29, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ANGELS REVENGE  Season 6, Ep 22

aka Angels' Brigade. "They're Blow You Away!" Seven young women in skintight clothes unconvincingly battle right-wing militia and neighborhood drug dealers. An obvious knockoff of Charlie's Angels, the slime just drips off this movie. In addition to Jim Backus (Misters Howell and Magoo), this movie also has Alan Hale Jr. (The Skipper!), a return appearance by Jack Palance, and also Pat "Mr. Haney" Buttram, Peter Lawford and Arthur Godfrey as himself. This one hurts. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered March 11, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 23, 2017 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS  Season 6, Ep 21

"Special Guest Star playing a double Role TOR JOHNSON as the Beast" A Soviet scientist wanders the titular flats after getting subjected to moviedom's favorite evil-causing MacGuffin, radiation. Coleman Francis narrates most of his misadventures as he strangles his way through the wasteland while chased by policemen. At the end, dying, he caresses a rabbit. With two shorts: Money Talks, Because there's not a lot to do in the afterlife, the silhouetted ghost of Benjamin Franklin lectures a kid about saving and spending money wisely; and Progress Island U.S.A., Have you considered Puerto Rico? Because this short really, really thinks you should consider Puerto Rico. The last of the Coleman Francis trilogy. Although Paste Magazine's recent list (Metafilter) put this one near the bottom, both Satellite News and Mighty Jack think this is one of the best episodes. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 21, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 15, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DANGER! DEATH RAY  Season 6, Ep 20

aka "Il Raggio Infernale" A scientist invents a death ray--purely for peaceful purposes of course--and wouldn't you know it, its inventor gets kidnapped. It's up to James Bond expy Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo) to rescue him, to the tune of an unusually catchy soundtrack. Ba dup ba dup ba da da! While not as silly as 504 SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON or 508 OPERATION DOUBLE 007, that darn soundtrack, and the guys' fixation on it, help carry us through. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 7, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 9, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT  Season 6, Ep 18

"The Kid Who Showed the Big Time How!" A supposedly-intelligent high school student makes a series of progressively worse decisions that lead ultimately to the deaths or critical wounding of every major character. With short Out of This World: An angel and a devil each try to convince a bread deliveryman to join the light or dark sides, respectively, of bread delivery, leaving unexamined the incredible theological implications. Fan opinion of this Roger Corman movie varies widely, but I like it. The short is pretty good, one of those ridiculous industrials where supernatural entites take great interest in some poor dope's work-a-day life. This episode is not available on YouTube due to a copyright claim. Apparently the entity "BentPixels" is protective of their rights over either this secondary school film noir or the celestial battle for bread delivery to resort to legal solutions. The episode premiered December 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 23, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON  Season 6, Ep 17

aka "Ilya Mourometz" (USSR) "Eye-Filling Spectacle! Man Against Monsters!" "A cast of 106,000! 11,000 horses!" Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets is a chair-bound farmer who gains both the power to walk and the magic sword Invincor, and uses both to drive off the evil Tugars that threaten his land -- whose number includes his son. For once the opening ad blurbs and descriptions of this film aren't sarcastic, for this is a genuinely great movie, the third both of MST's treatments of the output of Russian director Aleksandr Ptushko. (The other two were 422 THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE and 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.) Yet, while the movie is terrific, it's also very strange, which makes it excellent riffing fodder. Wait until you see the wind demon. It all adds up to a rare episode where you can appreciate both the film and the jokes. Also contains a favorite host segment, the "Joke by Ingmar Bergman." YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 3, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 16, 2017 - 2 comments

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